Keuka Lake

Keuka Lake

"Canoe Landing"

Physical Characteristics

  • Length: 22 miles
  • Width: between .5 and 2 miles
  • Max Depth: 187 ft
  • Average Depth: 101 ft
  • Volume: 379 billion gallons
  • Unlike the rest of the Finger Lakes, Keuka Lake is in the shape of a "Y"


  • Settlers wanted to change the name to Crooked Lake, but in 1887 it was officially named Keuka Lake.
  • Produce and other goods were transported up and down Keuka Lake and then through the canal systems which allowed Finger Lakes products to be shipped around the country. For example, grain from Hammondsport was transported through the canal system to Philadelphia and Baltimore.
  • Ice houses located along the lake harvested large blocks of ice in the winter and used them to cool steamboats.
  • Like Seneca and Cayuga, the area around Keuka Lake is ideal for growing grapes used to make wine.  In 1836, a couple from Hammondsport planted the first vineyard in the Finger Lakes, marking the beginning winemaking in the region. By 1860, 200 acres of vineyards had been planted around the lake.
  • In the 1870's, people began building the first cottages on the lakeshore.

Water Facts

  • Keuka Lake is the only lake in the country that flows both north and south.
  • Because of the shallow waters, Keuka is one of the warmer Finger Lakes and is an ideal place for swimming and boating.
  • The lake is full of baitfish, and is considered one of the best places to fish in the region because of the natural trout spawning grounds.
  • The lakefront is mostly residential, but is also home to many lakefront restaurants, many with docks for boaters. 
  • Keuka College is located on the shores of the east branch, and Keuka Lake State Park on the west branch.
  • The land surrounding the lake is mostly comprised of vineyards and other agriculture, which provide a beautiful backdrop to a day of swimming, fishing, or boating.